In a partisan era, it is worth pausing to remember passionate moderates like John Anderson, Shapiro writes. (Ira Schwarz/AP file photo)
Every political reporter remembers his or her first time — that is, the first time they sat with a presidential candidate in a car cutting through the dark New Hampshire night listening to the dreams of a man who wanted to lead the nation.
For me, it was November 1979, with the Cold War raging, militant students occupying the American embassy in Tehran and Jimmy Carter in the White House. The candidate I was profiling was ten-term Illinois Rep. John Anderson, who was animated by the outlandish fantasy that he had a chance to defeat Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination.